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Embracing 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table

Valued Contributor II
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It is hard to believe we are already approaching the end of February! Each year seems to pass more quickly than the last one and 2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for chemistry, thanks to the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT). The United Nations declared 2019 as the IYPT to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery. ACS’ IYPT initiatives are designed to engage our members in sharing their passion for chemistry in order to enhance public appreciation for chemistry's role in everyday life and increase awareness of chemistry's contributions to a sustainable planet. ACS GCI will leverage IYPT to raise awareness about endangered elements and the role that green chemistry and engineering can play in preserving these precious and finite resources.

As always, a major activity of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is the Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, which will be held in conjunction with the 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry. We received over 500 abstracts for this joint meeting, which will be held in Reston, Virginia from June 11-13. More than 40 technical sessions, networking receptions, poster presentations, and exciting keynotes will focus on this year’s conference theme of “Closing the Loop” of the chemical life cycle. We are thrilled to be joined by keynote speakers Udit Batra, CEO of MilliporeSigma; Lee Cronin, Regius Professor at the University of Glasgow; and Dana Kralisch, CTO of JeNACell GmbH. Learn more about this year’s conference at

On the education front, we are excited that the Journal of Chemical Education has announced a call for papers for a special issue on “Reimagining Chemistry Education: Systems Thinking and Green and Sustainable Chemistry.” ACS GCI played a key leadership role in assembling the guest editorial team for this special issue as well as guiding the development of the call for papers, which is accessible at Submissions are being accepted through April 1.

The ACS GCI industry roundtables play a key role in advancing the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering across the pharmaceutical, chemical manufacturers, formulators, hydraulic fracturing, and biochemical technology sectors. In particular, the Pharmaceutical Roundtable grew to 28 member companies and awarded $175,000 in research grants in 2018. The Chemical Manufacturers Roundtable is finalizing its report on Alternative Separations, a project funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. And the Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable met last month and has initiated a project to explore enzymatic degradation of biofilms to reduce biocide use in hydraulic fracturing.

ACS GCI continues to identify ways in which green chemistry can address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We organized a symposium on this topic at last week’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which elicited a lively discussion at the intersection of green chemistry, systems thinking, education, and policy. We will focus increased attention throughout the year on ways in which ACS can contribute to the SDGs, and we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact us with your ideas and suggestions at Thank you!


Dr. Mary M. Kirchhoff, Ph.D.

Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Director, Scientific Advancement Division

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